First stop Arequipa!
Now it was time for us to start our new adventure after eventually quiting our jobs. First stop Arequipa.
At first we planned to take a plane from Bogota to Lima and then head down south with the Bus as prices with the cheapflight airline vivacolombia are at a very good rate. But after calculating in accommodation and buses for the trip from Lima down to Arequipa, we decided to go straight from Medellin to Arequipa. This seemed barely more expensive and flights with Avianca are by far more comfortable and less stressful.. And as we both me and my friend had been to Peru already once it seemed to be the smarter idea to go straight to Arequipa.
After all we did not regret decision as we were already closer to Titicaca lake and the Bolivian border which should be our following destinations.
After we arrived in Arequipa we looked for cheap (not more than 25 soles per person) accomodation near the Plaza de Armas as we set ourselves a budget og not more than 60 soles a day. Just one block from “Plaza de Armas” we checked in the hotel “orkkowasi ” where a double bedroom with seperate beds only cost us 25 soles each. One should seldomly book via booking sites like booking.com as accommodation can be found way cheaper by simply looking for it.
Arequipa is the perfect city to just stroll around and enjoy the beautiful colonial style buildings and the great view of the mountains surrounding the city. The climax is pretty much close to perfect as long as the sun is shining. Another thing what I like about Arequipa and Peru in general is the food. Weather street food or fancy restaurant the quality standards are always pretty high. My new favorite this time became the “chicharron sanguches con camote”, which is a pretty delicious pork sandwich.
Anyway we arrived in Arequipa but our actual plan was to get to Bolivia as soon as possible were our journey should have its real start. So the next day we took the busfrom Arequipa to Puno
-Taxi from Plaza de Armas to bus the bus terminal 5 soles
-Bus “Cruz del Sur” from Arequipa to Puno 29 soles + 2,50 tax at the terminal. Cruz de Sur is my favorite bus company in South America as it is very comfortable, cheap and you get served a meal.
I really dont mind going long distance with these comfortable buses.
duration from Arequipa to Puno 6 hours
-The taxi from the terminal in Puno cost between 5 and 6 soles.
After a very tranquil 6 hour journey we eventually arrived at Puno a small city at the lake titicaca.
Arrival in Puno
As it was raining we didnt want to look for a hotel so we went for the first best one that got offered to us the “lobo inn” still only at 50 for a double bedroom with 2 seperate beds and a private bathroom.
As we are planning a long term travel luxury is no option and a bed, a bathroom + wifi have to be enough.
Disadvantage of the lobo inn which is very close to the plaza de armas in puno is that there is a karaoke bar next to it and for sure there is no new superstar going to be found.
Puno is not really worth to stay longer it should be just a short stop on the way to Bolivia as this side of the Titicaca lake is not the most beautiful. Also I do not believe that a visit to the Uros islands is really worth it as it is very touristy and more of a performance for the masses than real life that can be seen there. As I am not a big fan of being dragged with the masses to some overly touristic showcases we skipped the Uros islands and headed straight to Copacabana the following day where the Titicaca lake is way better to enjoy.
Highlight in Puno
For the first time I tried Lucuma that grows in the valleys of Chile, Ecuador and Peru and looks from the inside a little bit like an Avocado. When I received my juice mixed with milk, I recognized the taste but I couldnt say what exactly that taste was. After finishing off my juice I finally figured it out. Here it comes…..Banoffee pie!!
After a very relaxing night next to the karaoke bar we took a cap for five soles to the puno terminal. There we asked for the bus prices to Copacabana. After the guy from the bus told us that it was 25 soles I managed to negotiate a price of 20 soles per person. After approximate 3,5 hours and a very relaxed crossing of the border we arrived in Copacobana, Bolivia.